There are amazing fares between Los Angeles and Shanghai in business class the last third of the year on Hainan Airlines, which reportedly offers the best inflight product of any mainland Chinese carrier. These fares are available from New York as well to Shanghai and with slightly higher pricing to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Fuzhou.
Hainan is the core of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which expanded too fast and took on too much debt and has been retrenching. Combined with overcapacity between the US and China driven by the rush of Chinese carriers to stake a claim to specific routes (since the Chinese government won’t allow more than one Chinese airline to fly each route), this is a great place to go for some amazing deals.
ITA Matrix shows these flights at $1699 roundtrip. The Hainan Airlines website prices them at $1609.
Airfare metasearch sites Skyscanner and Momondo should be able to find this trip even cheaper, here’s a Momondo search pulling up this deal at $1543 roundtrip that books at FlightMojo.com.
Key details of fare basis ICLRKUSF:
- Outbound travel permitted August 26 – December 13 or December 23 – December 31
- One free stopover permitted in each direction
- $250 change fee, $400 refund fee
Credit these flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and earn 200% of flown miles (and 100% elite qualifying miles) plus applicable elite bonuses. The actual long haul service should be on Boeing 787s with reverse herringbone lie flat seats with direct aisle access.
Roundtrip travel to China requires a visa. I got my 10 year visa without difficulty and it’s now easy for me to travel to China at will.